Pilot production at the company’s Yokkaichi facility in Japan, which it shares with Toshiba, has already begun with what the company described as “meaningful commercial volumes” in the first half of 2017, although some limited consumer products are promised for the tail end of this year.
“The launch of the next generation 3D NAND technology based on our industry-leading 64-layer architecture reinforces our leadership in NAND flash technology,” said Dr Siva Sivaram, executive vice president for memory technology at Western Digital.
“BiCS3 will feature the use of three-bits-per-cell technology along with advances in high aspect ratio semiconductor processing to deliver higher capacity, superior performance and reliability at an attractive cost.
“Together with BiCS2, our 3D NAND portfolio has broadened significantly, enhancing our ability to address a full spectrum of customer applications in retail, mobile and data centre.”
BiCS3 has been developed alongside partner-firm Toshiba, from which we should expect a similar announcement any day now as the firms tend to take it in turns being first to the wires when new shared tech breaks.
It’s also worth noting that this is a significant flash announcement made under the WD umbrella, the first since it took control of SanDisk following a bidding war in which SanDisk put itself up for sale.
It’s not clear at the moment what the future holds for the SanDisk name, but ultimately this would have been a SanDisk announcement, so we’re very curious to see what the roadmap looks like.
BiCS3 will be available initially in a 256GB capacity rolling out to up to half a terabit on a single chip. BiCS3 for the retail market will arrive towards the end of 2016 with OEM sampling this quarter.
BiCS3 will run alongside the current BiCS2 range of 3D NAND products, which will remain available for the foreseeable future.
The Intel Remote EyeSight, a set of head-worn AR smart glasses, is built around the idea of remote collaboration. The company will offer details at a technical session during next month’s Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.
Further information about the AR smart glasses wasn’t immediately available, but they seem like a cross between Microsoft’s HoloLens and Google Glass.
The technical session page describes the AR smart glasses as a product that uses Intel’s Collaboration Suite for WebRTC video capabilities to “transform Intel’s enterprise collaboration experiences with secure, cost-effective, hands-free and augmented reality technologies.”
An Intel spokeswoman declined to comment on Remote EyeSight, but said AR and virtual reality (VR) will be a big focus at IDF.
The smart glasses give a fascinating clue into Intel’s AR strategy. Augmented reality blends real and virtual worlds, and can be used to build 3D objects, chat on Skype, or even play 3D games with the real world as a background.
Intel’s Remote EyeSight could enable interactive remote communication on smart glasses, kind of like having Skype on a wearable. That could promote freedom of movement and communication, and blend in real and virtual world scenes into video chats. In the enterprise, it could be used in areas like repair, medicine, and education.
Bulky headsets like Microsoft HoloLens restrict movement, a problem Intel’s smart glasses could alleviate if they are the right size. But like Google Glass, they may not be welcome in areas like bars and restaurants, so they could be limited to use in specific areas.
Intel also has good CPU technology for AR and VR but lacks good graphics technology, which is important for visual computing.
It’s also unclear how Intel will lay out its AR and VR vision at IDF. The company’s PC, server and internet of things groups have different ideas on how AR and VR fit into their operations, and it remains to be seen if they can unite to provide a common vision.
The decline — the first since the market started in 2013 — is expected to reverse next year after Apple and Google launch important operating system updates this fall, IDC said. Also, more watches will launch with cellular connections to LTE wireless without the need to connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone.
Apple was the only smartwatch maker in the top five to see a decline in the second quarter, although the Apple Watch remained the top smartwatch by far, with 1.6 million devices shipped and 47% of the market, IDC said.
Samsung smartwatches placed second, with 600,000 shipped and 16% of the market. Lenovo, LG Electronics and Garmin rounded out the next three positions, each with less than 300,000 smartwatches shipped.
In all, 3.5 million smartwatches shipped in the second quarter, down from 5.1 million in the second quarter of 2015, for a 32% decline.
For all of 2016, smartwatch shipments are forecast to reach 19.2 million, just slightly below the 19.3 million units in 2015. The big rebound will come in 2017, when shipments reach 28 million, IDC said.
“There’s definitely optimism down the road, but not so much in 2016,” said IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani, in an interview. IDC’s smartwatch category doesn’t include most fitness bands, which don’t run third-party applications, as smartwatches do.
The second-quarter decline for the Apple Watch came even as the device’sstarting price was dropped to $299, down from $349. Apple is expected to launch its next-generation Apple Watch and WatchOS 3 as early as September. The new device is expected to support LTE independent of a Bluetooth connection to an iPhone.
In the next two years, more traditional watch makers will enter the smartwatch market. So far, Casio, Fossil and Tag Heuer have launched their own smartwatch models. As more traditional watch brands start selling the devices, the market will grow, IDC said.
New applications and games will also help smartwatch growth, Ubrani said. Some users might want to play Pokemon Go on a smartwatch, Ubrani said. However, a Pokemon Go Plus wearable has already been announced that can be worn on the wrist with a polyester wristband to connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone running the game. It will sell for $35.
Transistors will stop shrinking in just five years according to the 2015 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors.
After 2021, the report forecasts, it will no longer be economically desirable for companies to continue to shrink the dimensions of transistors in microprocessors. Instead, chip manufacturers will turn to other means of boosting density.
In fact this is the last ITRS roadmap and the end to a more-than-20-year-old coordinated planning effort that began in the United States and was then expanded to include the rest of the world.
However the Semiconductor Industry Association, which represents IBM and Intel said that people are just not interested any more and it will have to do its own work, in collaboration with another industry group, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, to identify research priorities for government. Other ITRS participants will continue on with a new roadmapping effort under a new name, which will be conducted as part of an IEEE initiative called Rebooting Computing.
Analysts say that the difficulty and expense associated with maintaining Moore’s Law research has since resulted in significant consolidation. In 2001 there were 19 companies that were developing and manufacturing logic chips with leading-edge transistors. Now there is just Intel, TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries.
They can communicate directly to their equipment and materials suppliers and don’t want to sit down and tell their rivals what they are up to.
Semiconductor companies that no longer make leading-edge chips in house rely on the foundries that make their chips to provide advanced technologies. What’s more, he says, chip buyers and designers are increasingly dictating the requirements for future chip generations.
This final ITRS report is titled ITRS 2.0. The name reflects the idea that improvements in computing are no longer driven from the bottom up, by tinier switches and denser or faster memories. Instead, it takes a more top-down approach, focusing on the applications that now drive chip design, such as data centers, the Internet of Things, and mobile gadgets.
The new IEEE roadmap—the International Roadmap for Devices and Systems—will also take this approach, but it will add computer architecture to the mix, allowing for “a comprehensive, end-to-end view of the computing ecosystem, including devices, components, systems, architecture, and software,” according to a recent press release.
Transistor miniaturization was still a part of the long-term forecast as recently as 2014, when the lastITRS report was released. That report predicted that the physical gate length of transistors—an indicator of how far current must travel in the device—and other key logic chip dimensions would continue to shrink until at least 2028. But 3D concepts have gained momentum. The memory industry has already turned to 3D architectures to ease miniaturisation pressure and boost the capacity of NAND Flash. Monolithic 3D integration, which would build layers of devices one on top of another, connecting them with a dense forest of wires.
Moore’s Law just predicted how many transistors can fit in a given area of IC. Company still could make transistors smaller well into the 2020s, but it’s more economic to go 3-D.
Before 3-D integration is adopted, the ITRS predicts that leading-edge chip companies will move away from the FinFET transistor structure. According to the roadmap, chipmakers will leave that in favor of a lateral, gate-all-around device that has a horizontal channel like the FinFET but is surrounded by a gate that extends underneath. After that, transistors will become vertical, with their channels taking the form of pillars or nanowires. The traditional silicon channel will also be replaced by channels made with alternate materials, namely silicon germanium, germanium, and compounds drawn from columns III and V of the periodic table.
The doubling of transistor densities hasn’t been linked to improvements in computing performance for ages anyway. In the good old days shrinking transistors meant faster speeds, but by the 90s the extra metal layers that were added to wire up increasing numbers of transistors were adding significant delays and performance was improved by redesigned chip microarchitectures. In 2000 the main issue was heat because transistor densities were so high that their heat limited clock speeds. Companies began packing multiple cores on chips to keep things moving.
AMD is drawing up a cunning plan to build a “super-chip” with a CPU and a GPU in a single box to put the fear of god into Nvidia and Intel in the data centre.
According to PC World the move will put AMD back into the server business, which is pretty much dead in the water at the moment.
Apparently when Zen arrives it wants to merge the CPU with a high-performance GPU to create a mega-chip for high-performance tasks.
AMD CEO Lisa Su said the tech will involve fusing Vega and Zen into one big chip for enterprise servers and supercomputing.
She said the move will come “in time”. “It’s an area where combining the two technologies makes a lot of sense.”
AMD has had a crack at this before. It has already combined full-featured CPUs and GPUs on made-to-order chips for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The 5-billion transistor Xbox One chip uses an eight-core AMD CPU code-named Jaguar and a Radeon graphics processor. But this is the first time that it has been talked about as a way of getting itself back into serverland.
Ironically it is possible thanks to the fact that GPUs are being used as co-processors in some of the world’s fastest computers. Google has slipped them into data centers for deep learning tasks. But this is world where Nvidia rules.
The only way for AMD to beat Nvidia and Intel in that space is to fuse the GPU and CPU into a single speedy box. Chances are it would push into the market on price and efficiency based on the concept that companies would only have to buy one chip.
Unlike U.S.-based ride hailing start-up Uber, which established itself to compete against taxi companies, the new company will operate using taxi firms.
It is the latest push by traditional carmakers to enter the taxi ride hailing services market dominated by Uber and other technology companies.
The companies declined to disclose financial terms.
“It’s a paper deal. Daimler will own 60 percent of the new entity and the stakeholders in Halio will own 40 percent,” said Halio CEO Andrew Pinnington, who will be chief executive of the combined company.
The merged entity, which will operate under the mytaxi brand, will have 70 million passengers and 100,000 registered taxi drivers in over 50 cities across nine countries in Europe, the companies said.
In similar deals this year, Volkswagen took a $300 million stake in Gett and General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft.
Hailo, which operates in Britain, Ireland and Spain, will combine with myTaxi, which is available in Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
The combined company will be headquartered in Hamburg, Germany.
MyTaxi founder Niclaus Mewes will take a seat on the supervisory board and in addition he will become managing director of Daimler Mobility Services GmbH.
Several of the nation’s biggest banks in the U.S. now support the use of a smartphone to withdraw cash from an ATM — many by way of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology — instead of requiring customers to use a bank card.
One of the early adopters, Bank of America, said this week it currently supports cardless technology at 2,800 of its ATMs. That number will reach 8,000 ATMs by year’s end that rely on NFC and other technology. Bank of America, which has about 15,000 ATMs nationwide, created a video to show how a smartphone loaded with the bank’s mobile app can now withdraw cash from some ATMs.
Wells Fargo said it has a “handful” of ATMs that are NFC-ready and working to deliver cash and other transactions and is planning to reach 5,000 by the end of 2016. A total of 12,000 ATMs will be enabled in 2017.
JPMorgan Chase said it also will have many cardless ATMs available this year, but didn’t specify how many or when. Initially at Chase, customers will show up at an ATM and type in a numerical code they acquired wirelessly through use of the Chase smartphone app to get their cash. That numerical code verification process will be an early step in rolling out cardless technology at the bank’s nearly 15,000 ATMs.
In addition to using NFC or a numerical code to authenticate a transaction, some bank ATMs are expected to rely on scanning a QR code displayed on a phone.
The number of ATMs supporting cardless cash remains a small portion of the estimated 500,000 ATMs in the U.S. Crone Consulting, which monitors the mobile payment industry, recently said it expects about 95,000 ATMs in the U.S. to support cardless cash by year’s end.
After dragging up the smart watch industry thanks to its legions of fanboys who will buy any old rubbish provided it has an Apply logo, Jobs’ Mob is causing it all to crash again.
For those who came in late, after Apple invented the smartwatch two years later than its rivals, it was supposed to sell millions of them. To be fair it did reasonably well considering its product was out-of-date and pretty much useless. It sold about six million of them to the loyal fanboys base who would buy a dog turd if it had an Apple logo. Smartwatches were a small market and six million was rather a lot.
But this figure was well below the 40 million that some analysts claimed it would sell. The smartwatch got bad reviews and lacked most of the functionality that its rivals had. It was also expensive.
Apple appears to have lost interest in the devices It fails to mention them in polite company and rumours of “innovations” of the tech are few and far between. This has resulted in the smartwatch industry which was propped by Apple’s interest taking a battering.
Vendors shipped a total of 3.5 million smartwatches worldwide last quarter. This Q2 2016 figure is down 32 percent from the 5.1 million units shipped in Q2 2016, marking the first decline on record.
The figures don’t count basic bands sold by companies like Fitbit so Apple is the undisputed leader. The latest quarterly figures come from IDC, which said that Apple’s market share decreased 25 percentage points (from 72 percent to 47 percent) and it shipped less than half the smartwatches (1.6 million). But the company still holds almost half the market, with every other vendor shipping fewer than a million units.
Samsung gained 9 percentage points (from 7 percent to 16 percent), thanks to shipping 200,000 more units compared to the same quarter last year. IDC attributes the gain to solid distribution though American carriers. The Gear S2 lineup is Samsung’s biggest success and doesn’t appear to depend on the company’s smartphones.
Lenovo gained 6 percentage points (from 3 percent to 9 percent), shipping 100,000 more units and jumping into third place. IDC believes this is thanks to the company’s Motorola brand moving quickly into smartwatches and becoming the de facto Android Wear choice for round form factors.
LG gained 4 percentage points (from 4 percent to 8 percent), also shipping 100,000 more units but slipping to fourth place.
Garmin gained 2 percentage points (from 2 percent to 4 percent), despite flat shipments. Its Connect IQ-enabled devices remain niche, as they mainly only target athletes.
Of course the Tame Apple press claims all that will change when Apple releases its refresh of the watch which has all the features that were missing when the Smart Watch launched before. However even if it does happen this time, the technology is still two years too late and fanboys are going to find it hard justifying an upgrade to their parents. They might have to take on another paper rounded to pay for it.
All this indicates that after a period of Apple bloat, some sanity is being restored to the smartwatch industry which is, and will always be, niche.
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, one of the world’s largest telecoms equipment makers, on Monday posted a 40 percent increase in first-half sales revenue and announced it would “maintain current momentum” this year.
Sales revenue reached 245.5 billion yuan ($36.8 billion) in the first six months of 2016, the company said in a statement. Operating margin fell to 12 percent from 18 percent in the previous half-year, it said.
The Shenzhen-based private company, which competes with Sweden’s Ericsson for the top spot in the global market for telecoms equipment, did not elaborate in its brief statement.
“We are confident that Huawei will maintain its current momentum, and round out the full year in a positive financial position backed by sound ongoing operations,” Chief Financial Officer Sabrina Meng said in the statement.
“We achieved steady growth across all three of our business groups, thanks to a well-balanced global presence,” Meng said, referring to the company’s telecom, consumer device and enterprise business segments.
The company earlier this year set a revenue target of $75 billion for 2016.
Last year, Huawei reported a 30 percent rise in first-half revenue.
The Redmond, Wash. company regularly talks up the latest subscription numbers for the consumer-grade Office 365 plans — the $100 a year Home and the $70 Personal — and did so again this week during an earnings call with Wall Street analysts.
“We also see momentum amongst consumers, with now more than 23 million Office 365 subscribers,” CEO Satya Nadella said Tuesday.
But analysis of Microsoft’s consumer Office 365 numbers showed that the rate of growth — or as Nadella put it, “momentum” — has slowed.
For the June quarter, the 23.1 million cited by Microsoft in its filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) represented a 52% increase over the same period the year prior. Although most companies would give their eye teeth — or maybe a few executives — to boast of a rate of increase that size, it was the smallest since Microsoft began providing subscription data in early 2013.
A year before, the June 2015 quarter sported a consumer Office 365 subscription growth rate of 171% over the same three-month span in 2014.
The subscription increase also was small in absolute terms: Microsoft added approximately 900,000 to the rolls during the June quarter, down from 2.8 million the year before and also less than the 1.6 million accumulated in 2016′s March quarter.
The 900,000 additional subscribers added in the June quarter were the smallest number in more than two years.
While Microsoft did not directly address the slowing of growth in the consumer Office 365 market, it did attribute a similar trend among corporate subscriptions to the difficulty of maintaining huge year-over-year percentage gains as the raw numbers of subscriptions increased.
Samsung’s Gear VR headset has been installed in a what is believed to be the first Virtual Reality popup cinema.
The VIVID VR Cinema has been constructed in Toronto, Canada, where a total of three different films were being shown — The Visitor, where a young couple prepares for the woman’s greatest fear to arrive; Imago, a title about a former dancer in a coma who’s aware of her surroundings; and Sonar, a movie about a drone that discovers a signal on an asteroid.
The cinema is small – only 30 seats. Each has a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and a Gear VR with a Galaxy S7 clipped to the back. Tickets cost $20 for the 40-minutes to watch the three films.
The movies have been carefully crafted to let their viewers to choose different narratives to focus on so even the plot is interactive.
It is expected that more of this type of entertainment will arrive when more content is available. It might be a couple of decades before the first Hollywood blockbuster though.
A bunch of tech firms including ARM and Symantec have joined forces to create a security protocol designed to protect Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
The group, which also includes Intercede and Solacia, has created The Open Trust Protocol (OTrP) that is now available for download for prototyping and testing from the IETF website.
The OTrP is designed to bring system-level root trust to devices, using secure architecture and trusted code management, akin to how apps on smartphones and tablets that contain sensitive information are kept separate from the main OS.
This will allow IoT manufacturers to incorporate the technology into devices, ensuring that they are protected without having to give full access to a device OS.
Marc Canel, vice president of security systems at ARM, explained that the OTrP will put security and trust at the core of the IoT.
“In an internet-connected world it is imperative to establish trust between all devices and service providers,” he said.
“Operators need to trust devices their systems interact with and OTrP achieves this in a simple way. It brings e-commerce trust architectures together with a high-level protocol that can be easily integrated with any existing platform.”
Brian Witten, senior director of IoT security at Symantec, echoed this sentiment. “The IoT and smart mobile technologies are moving into a range of diverse applications and it is important to create an open protocol to ease and accelerate adoption of hardware-backed security that is designed to protect onboard encryption keys,” he said.
The next stage is for the OTrP to be further developed by a standards-defining organisation after feedback from the wider technology community, so that it can become a fully interoperable standard suitable for mass adoption.
Aquila, Facebook’s lightweight, high-altitude aircraft, flew at a few thousand feet for 96 minutes in Yuma, Arizona, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his Facebook page. The company ultimately hopes to have a fleet of Aquilas that can fly for at least three months at a time at 60,000 feet (18,290 meters) and communicate with each other to deliver internet access.
Google parent Alphabet Inc has also poured money into delivering internet access to under served areas through Project Loon, which aims to use a network of high-altitude balloons to made the internet available to remote parts of the world.
Yael Maguire, Facebook’s engineering director and head of its Connectivity Lab, said in an interview that the company initially hoped Aquila would fly for 30 minutes.
“We’re thrilled about what happened with our first flight,” Maguire said. “There are still a lot of technical challenges that need to be addressed for us to achieve the whole mission.” He said he hoped the system might be brought into service “in the near future.”
Zuckerberg laid out the company’s biggest challenges in flying a fleet of Aquilas, including making the plane lighter so it can fly for longer periods, getting it to fly at 60,000 feet and creating communications networks that allow it to rapidly transfer data and accurately beam down lasers to provide internet connections.
Maguire said Aquila will go through several more test flights and hopes it will soon break the world record for the longest solar-powered unmanned aircraft flight, which currently stands at two weeks.
Facebook, which has more than 1.6 billion users, has invested billions of dollars in getting more people online, both through an initiative called internet.org – which offers a pared-down version of the internet to poor areas – and by building drones.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission urged major U.S. phone companies to take immediate steps to make technology that blocks unwanted automated calls available to consumers at no charge.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in letters to CEOs of major phone companies, said so-called robocalls, automated pre-recorded telephone calls often from telemarketers or scam artists, continue “due in large part to industry inaction.”
Wheeler’s letters went to chief executives of companies including Verizon Communications Inc, AT&T Inc, Sprint Corp, US Cellular Corp, Level 3 Communications Inc, Frontier Communications Corp, Bandwidth.com Inc, and T-Mobile US.
Wheeler said in a blog post on Friday that he wants answers from the companies “within 30 days with their concrete, actionable solutions to address these issues.”
The letters, reviewed by Reuters, noted that the FCC does not require phone providers to offer robocall blocking and filtering but the FCC has “strongly encouraged providers to offer these services” at no charge to consumers.
Tom Power, general counsel at CTIA, the wireless trade association, said on Friday that “unwanted calls and texts are a consumer issue the wireless industry works hard to address and we look forward to working with the FCC to help address this challenge together.”
The FCC gets hundreds of thousands of complaints annually about robocalls and unwanted text messages.
Wheeler’s letters also said providers can do more to ensure that incoming calls are not “spoofed,” when callers falsify the information transmitted to caller-ID displays to disguise their identity.
Scam artists often try to appear to call from a bank or a government phone to trick consumers into disclosing confidential financial or account information. Other scams pitch phony vacation or mortgage offers.
In the letters, the FCC said the phone industry should create a “Do Not Originate” list that would allow government agencies, banks and healthcare providers, among others, to register their phone numbers and would allow providers to block calls from outside the United States. Many phone scams based overseas target Americans.
The FCC said last year it agreed that phone companies should not block calls without customers permission. Wheeler noted that providers “have suggested that blocking should wait until new Caller ID authentication standards are in place, but that is not a valid excuse for delay.”
The FCC has brought 13 enforcement actions to combat robocalls since 2013. In 2015, the FCC fined a Florida company nearly $3 million for illegal calls promoting travel deals.
As announced earlier, Nvidia has officially lifted the NDA off its Geforce GTX 1060 allowing sites to publish reviews which also means that retailers/e-tailers now have the green light to start selling the new graphics card.
Based on 16nm GP106 GPU, the new Geforce GTX 1060 is the third Nvidia Geforce graphics card based on the new Pascal GPU architecture. The GP106 GPU packs 1280 CUDA cores, 80 TMUs and 48 ROPs and it will be coming with 6GB of GDDR5 memory with a 192-bit memory interface.
The new Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 Founders Edition, which will be apparently sold only by Nvidia, will work at 1506MHz and 1709MHz for the GPU base and Boost clocks while memory will end up with a reference clock of 8000MHz, which adds up to 192GB/s of memory bandwidth.
The reference Founders Edition comes with a standard blower-style cooler which is somewhat simplified and lacks both heatpipes or vapor-chamber, mostly due to the fact that the GTX 1060 has a 120W TDP. The GTX 1060 needs a single 6-pin PCIe power connector which leaves it plenty of headroom for further overclocking.
Performance-wise, the Geforce GTX 1060 is on par with the GTX 980 4GB, and since it comes with 2GB more VRAM, it is a better choice. More importantly, the Geforce GTX 1060 is faster than the RX 480 in most cases, which is its direct competitor on the market.
Unfortunately, the GTX 1060 lacks SLI support, probably because it would kill the sales of the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards.
Priced at US $299 for the Founders Edition and coming with a MSRP of US $249, the Geforce GTX 1060 is quite impressive, offering more performance than the recently launched Radeon RX 480 and bringing that impressive Pascal power efficiency to the mainstream market.
Hopefully, this will mark the beginning of the price wars in the mainstream graphics card segment and will push the prices closer to the MSRP. Both the RX 480 and the GTX 1060 offer decent performance per buck so it will be a fight to the bitter end.